PIA of MD -- Sandy
AFTER THE DISASTER
Guidance to affected homeowners to help with the claim process
Contact your insurance agent and/or your insurance company’s Claims Department to notify them of a
claim and assess coverage - Insurance company claims filing phone numbers
Write down the date, time and name of the individual with whom you speak as well as the general nature of
the conversation (e.g. recommendations on how to proceed)
Write down the claim number that is assigned to you
Get e-mail addresses for the claims adjuster(s). Adjusters are unlikely to have time to call back, but may be
able to respond to e-mail questions in the evenings
Be patient! In a catastrophe situation, the number of licensed adjusters in the state may not be enough to
respond promptly to all claims.
Take pictures of the damage
Do secure the problem areas to prevent or mitigate further damage. Do not make any permanent repairs
until your carrier says you can. Keep all receipts and time logs (even your own time). Be aware that
multiple claims in a short time frame could result in a premium increase, so consider taking care of minor
repairs on your own.
Start a list of damaged content items (e.g. furniture, appliances, clothing); if you had a home inventory, this
process will be easier. If you replace any items, keep track of those items and their receipts: if you have
replacement cost coverage, you may be able to receive additional funds for those items.
If you have a flood policy, be aware that a proof-of-loss form must be completed and remitted within 60
days of the event that caused the damage. In some cases, the deadline is extended.
Tips to facilitate general claim settlement are available here. In addition, step-by-step tips are provided here
to help you file a flood claim.
Flood damage to your vehicle is covered under your auto insurance policy if you have "comprehensive"
Be wary of contractor scams and of people knocking on your door to help you with your clean-up or claims.
Get more than one bid from contractors and ask for references.
Ask for proof of necessary licenses, building permits, insurance and bonding. Regarding insurance,
the contractor should provide a certificate of insurance (not a copy).
Record the contractor’s license plate and driver’s license number.
Never pay upfront for the entire job. You can always go with the contractor and pay for supplies
2. OTHER INDEMNIFICATION OR ASSISTANCE THAT MAY BE AVAILABLE
If you do not have insurance, flood insurance, or have insufficient coverage.
If your county has been declared a federal disaster, you may be eligible for disaster assistance.
Check counties at http://www.fema.gov/news/disasters.fema. Keep in mind that disaster assistance
may not be available right away and may only be released after the extent of the damage has been
assessed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Hurricane Sandy http://www.fema.gov/disaster/3349
Go to “designated counties” and check if individual assistance is available. If you are a government
agency or an eligible non-profit organization, check if public assistance is available.
What is Disaster Assistance?
It is money or direct assistance that may be available to individuals, families and businesses whose
property has been damaged or destroyed and whose losses are not covered by insurance. It is meant
to help with critical expenses that cannot be covered in other ways; it is not intended to restore
damaged property to its condition before the disaster. While some housing assistance funds are
available, most disaster assistance is in the form of loans administered by the Small Business
Disaster Assistance that may be available
● Disaster assistance available from FEMA
- Individual assistance provides help for individuals and businesses, homeowners and renters, as
they recover from disasters.
- Public assistance helps State and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations
for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities.
- Flood Insurance Requirements for Recipients of Federal Disaster Assistance - When property
owners receive financial assistance from the Federal Government following a President-declared
disaster, they may be required to purchase flood insurance coverage.
● Disaster loans may be or become available from the Small Business Administration
● Locate a Disaster Recovery Center
YOU CAN APPLY FOR DISASTER ASSISTANCE:
online at: http://www.disasterassistance.gov/
via smartphone at: http://m.fema.gov/
by phone: 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) / TTY 1-800-462-7585 (for speech- or hearing-impaired)